Commercial truck drivers with multiple health issues have more to worry about than just their health. According to a study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine, commercial drivers with more than three health related issues are two to four times more likely to be involved in a truck accident than drivers with fewer than three medical conditions. Researchers analyzed the medical records of 50,000 commercial truck drivers and found that those with a combination of health ailments had the highest rate of accidents.
Over 30 percent of truck drivers studied showed a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, lower back pain, sleep apnea, obesity, and diabetes, which were health conditions previously attributed to a higher rate of trucking accidents. The recent study found that those drivers with a combination of three or more of these medical conditions were at a significantly higher risk of being involved in an accident. Diabetes or high blood pressure alone are manageable health conditions, but when you combine diabetes with high blood pressure and sleep apnea, for example, the risk of a crash increases considerably.
The average crash rate with injuries for all truck drivers is 29 per 100 million miles traveled. Truck drivers that have a combination of three or more medical conditions is 93 to 100 million miles traveled. In the majority of accidents involving a truck and a passenger vehicle, the most serious and often fatal injuries are suffered by those driving or traveling in passenger vehicles. Many medical conditions can affect the reaction time, judgment, and cognitive functions of truck drivers and result in collisions with other vehicles.
Commercial truck drivers are prone to medical issues due to their long work hours and tight schedules, extended time sitting, irregular diets, and poor sleep quality. As the health of drivers decreases, the risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident with other vehicles on the road increases. Passenger vehicles are no match for the sheer weight and force involved when their cars collide with a large truck. Injuries to drivers and passengers are typically catastrophic with a high rate of fatalities.
Authors for the University of Utah School of Medicine study recommend that research continues to compare the rate of accidents for truck drivers suffering from multiple minor health issues. Minor health conditions such as poor eyesight, allergies, and skin conditions were not factored into the recent study. The safety of the general public warrants further research so that safety protocols can be established and enforced.
When a passenger vehicle is involved in an accident with a commercial truck, serious injuries can incur. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, the Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP can help you fight to claim the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Call us at 1-800-222-8792, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.